You have no doubt seen several posts and articles advising how to shop smartly from Black Friday through Cyber Monday: how to set a budget, how to avoid overspending, etc. But what is the plan if you, as did many other Americans, overspent during your excitement? Perhaps some of the money you set aside went to Thanksgiving prep or travel at the last minute, as well? Those who fall into debt over the holidays typically end up owing about $1,000 on their credit cards, according to annual surveys from Magnify Money, and about half of all borrowers revolve a payment at least once a year, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. Now let’s talk recovery.

Do not panic.
Getting your short-term finance problems under control is a process, but it’s not necessarily a complicated process. Just take it step by step.

Look at your options
Can you make any extra room in your budget? Little changes in practices such as bringing your lunch to work and combining insurance policies can save you a surprising amount of money per month.

Do you have even 5-10 extra hours per week for short-term side work? Look through websites dedicated to freelancers who can work from home- many have needs for marketers, accountants, web developers, and graphics designers. Consider driving for a rideshare company, or shopping for the ever-increasing grocery delivery/pickup companies.

Divide and Conquer
Choose your payoff strategy.

Quick payoff: If you’re carrying a balance on more than one card, you can attack your lowest balances first. Getting those smaller balances cleared can give you momentum and help you maintain a positive attitude.

Don’t forget to ask your creditors for a lower interest rate. A 2018 survey by found that 56% of people who asked for a lower interest rate got one. However, only one in four cardholders even asked in the first place.

Long payoff: Larger debts will require a little more legwork. Per NY Times’ Wirecutter, “one clean solution, especially if you have multiple cards in the red, is to take out a personal loan. You’ll be able to consolidate your debt into one monthly payment, and you may be able to get an interest rate lower than what you’re currently paying on your credit cards (although personal loan interest rates can exceed 20%, depending on things like your credit history).”

Personal loans have become very popular; if you’re looking for a short-term loan in Houston, make sure to do your due diligence and shop around for rates before committing.

Most importantly: start saving now for the holidays next year!